Batmobile Replica Up For Auction in LA

Posted November 27, 2018

Once again, there is a cause for bonding, discovering new gadgets, and celebration. No, we’re not talking about Christmas. This is the fact that there’s a new replica of a Batmobile - Adam West’s iconic, gadget-happy, and retro-futuristic Batmobile from 1966 to be precise - due to be sold at auction.

This new replica is currently located at The Petersen Automotive Museum, and Yahoo reports that it will soon be auctioned by RM Sotheby's on December 8, 2018. It’s currently marked POA, which means that the price is only available upon request and upon application into the coming auction. The last time that the original 1966 Batmobile was sold at an auction, it fetched £3.27 million ($4.2 million) back in 2013. Designed by the legendary George Barris, the iconic 1966 vehicle was responsible for pulling the campy, gadget-happy version of the Batman into the mainstream spotlight.

Barris built the Batmobile using a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car, which allegedly cost Ford $2 million to develop, and already had some of the flare necessary to serve as Batman’s Gotham City speedster. Given these prior costs, as well as the current popularity of the Batman franchise, it would take someone like Bruce Wayne to be able to afford an original iteration of the 1966 design. Bruce Wayne is famous for his wealth and he is included in Lottoland’s list of the richest fictional characters ever, with the article stating that he’s worth £6.3 billion ($8 billion). With that amount he could buy the original 1966 Batmobile 1,926 times over. If you are like Bruce Wayne and have some “loose change” to spare, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better or more iconic cultural investment than the “new” Batmobile.

With a similar body to the Ghostbuster’s iconic Ecto-1, the 1966 Batmobile took on a life of its own as soon as it was seen in theaters. Save for Christopher Nolan’s gritty, realistic, and militarized version, arguably every single Batmobile – even the animated ones – were influenced by Barris’ 1966 design. It’s certainly not the most realistic version of the iconic vehicle – but it was arguably the most creative. In the original Adam West series, the Batmobile featured devices like a nose-mounted chain slicer, rockets, an on-board phone, radar, a police beacon, maneuvering parachutes, a rear-facing camera, and a battering ram.

Of course, none of these devices are actually available on the original 1966 Batmobile, and nor are they in this replica. All the switches are there for the new owner’s perusal. And just like its original version, the replica is powered by an “atomic turbine engine” in the form of a full-sized V8 engine, this time via Chevrolet (the original had a Ford V8). Furthermore, this replica sports an all steel body, as opposed to fiberglass, as many other replicas are built. If you are in the market for a famous replica or are curious to see it, you now know where to be.

By Ryan Motta

Ryan is an automobile and pop culture enthusiast from the U.K. He enjoys visiting car conventions and exhibits around the globe to report on what’s happening in the automobile industry.

Image: By Photo by Jennifer Graylock/Ford Motor Company, https://www.flickr.com/people/... Ford Motor Company from USA - https://www.flickr.com/photos/fordmotorcompany/1731548564/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/...

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